Niger Basin Authority: Council Chairman task Member Countries to Promptly Deliver on Mandates

Kenny Folarin, Abuja

The Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Niger Basin Authority (NBA), Engr. Suleiman Adamu has charged country members of the Niger Basin Authority to deliver on their mandates by speeding up the implementation of both the Climate Resilience Investment Plan (CRIP) and Operational Plan in order for populations and companies to feel the impact of NBA in their lives and activities.

Adamu while speaking in Abuja on Thursday at the Extraordinary Session of the Council of Ministers of the Niger Basin Authority noted that expectations are already high on NBA to deliver on its mandate.

He added that there is need for ministers to also urgently hold the round table on financing the Operational Plan and Climate Resilience Investment Plan as well as for member countries to pay their 10% counterpart funding.

Meanwhile, Adamu explained that certain amendments have been proposed by the Executive Secretariat and the Technical Committee of Experts on the Internal Rules and Regulations of the NBA Technical Committee of Experts (CTE) and the Council of Ministers (CM), however opined that it is the duty of the ministers to carefully examine the proposal with a view to making informed recommendation at the upcoming Summit.

He noted that the session with the ministers will avail them the opportunity to review among others the report of the Technical Committee of Experts and the administrative situation of the Executive Secretary whilst carefully evaluating the Organizational and Institutional Structure of the Authority which has generated some level of controversy over the years.

“We have been working very hard to restructure the Niger Basin Authority in terms of organization structure and I think after this meeting we will have firm grip of that and start implementing some of the key recommendation from the report that was prepared by consultants and experts.”

Adamu, who acted as the Chairman of NBA in the last five years stated that the COVID-19 pandemic affected the activities of the NBA but is optimistic that the incoming NBA chairman in collaboration with other country members will achieve more feat.

“Covid really affected us, we made two attempt to hold this summit, yet it is still going to hold virtually, it has extended our tenure, it affected our economy and the ability of member countries to make their contributions has met lots of hardship, we had to take an emergency method to reduce our operational budget by 40%, majority of our programme were done virtually buy am confident that all the nine countries are capable of steering the affairs of this Authority.”

Expressing concern over security and environmental issue in the River Niger, Adamu said”

We are talking about the river Niger, when we are looking at chad as a major security and environmental issue, it appears that the river Niger is also going the same way unfortunately and it is quite a wake up call for us that we have a lot in hands, not only are we going to be dealing with similar issues in chad basin but we also have to deal with the same issues in river Niger, Cameron, Chad and Niger are members of the River Basin Commission in addition to Nigeria, so common problems have similar issues and collective efforts to tackle.” He concluded.

Executive Secretary of the Authority, Mr. Abderahim Hamid on his own part noted that the current situation in the region requires collective effort for efficiently and effectively implementing projects and programmes that promote access to jobs. and autonomous and sustainable income-generating activities for the basin’s youth and women.

Hamid stressed that after the rehabilitation of the Jebba and Kainji dams in Nigeria, the new challenge is to maintain the spirit of the Shared Vision in order to concretize the construction of the infrastructures so much awaited by populations which include construction of the Fomi dam in Guinea, the Taoussa dam in Mali and the Kainji dam in Nigeria.

” The construction of these works will significantly contribute to improving the living condition of our people and we will be able to better value the water resource in the areas of agriculture, livestock, fisheries, energy and river transportation, with a spirit of solidarity and perfect understanding among the various stakeholders”.

He added that to face the many challenges, the quick implementation and resolutions on the Organizational Chart adopted by the 39th Session of the Council of Ministers remains the only guarantee to solve the issue of under staffing, to better boost NBA and convince Technical an Financial Partners to support them

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